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  • Morning Bell: And Now the Supreme Court Must Decide

    For the past three days, the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard a series of arguments on Obamacare — what promises to be one of the most seminal decisions in the Court’s history. Now that the dust has settled, it appears more than likely that President Obama’s signature health care law is on the verge of being struck down — perhaps even in its entirety.

    The challengers to the law include more than half of the States of the Union, the National Federation of Independent Business, and private parties, while the Obama Administration is standing in defense of it. Having heard arguments on Monday on whether a law called the Anti-Injunction Act would bar the Court from considering whether Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, the Court on Tuesday moved on to examining the mandate itself and whether Congress vaulted across the Maginot Line of constitutionality when it imposed the mandate on Americans.

    The liberal justices of the Court hammered the attorneys who were challenging Obamacare, leaving little doubt where they stand on the law. In their view, it appears, the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the authority “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes,” also empowers Congress to impose the individual mandate. As the government argued, since everyone will have to participate in the health care market at some point, the government is justified in requiring people to buy insurance today. Heritage’s Todd Gaziano explains the failure of this argument:

    There’s a difference between regulating commerce that’s already happening and forcing individual Americans to enter into commerce — in this case, the health care market — so that Congress can better regulate it…

    If Congress were able to regulate things that people will eventually have to do, then there would be virtually no limits to its power.

    That’s an argument that resonated with the Court’s conservative justices and with Justice Anthony Kennedy, who oftentimes votes with the conservatives but is seen as a crucial swing vote in this case. At two different times, Justice Kennedy stated that the government’s theory would “fundamentally change the relationship between the individual and the state.” His thinking on the issue could be a bad sign for Obamacare.

    If the Court were to strike down Obamacare’s individual mandate, it would also have to consider what to do with the rest of the law. Should the justices just strike down the mandate? Should they eliminate the mandate and any of the related sections (which would be difficult to identify), or should they throw out the whole law? This question is what’s known as “severability,” and it was one of the focuses of the third day of oral argument. And on this issue, too, the Obama Administration did not have a good day. Heritage’s Todd Gaziano and Hans von Spakovsky explain:

    The more liberal justices were clearly hostile to the arguments being made by Paul Clement on behalf of the challengers that the entire statute must be struck down. However, other justices, including Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy, were obviously concerned that the complex scheme designed by Congress will not work as intended by Congress without the individual mandate — which is the ‘heart’ of the law as Justice Scalia and others later referred to it — and thus they may need to strike down the entire law if the mandate is unconstitutional.

    One issue remained for the Court — Obamacare’s Medicaid spending provisions under which Congress relies on its “spending power” to expand the program and coerce states to do its bidding. Those challenging the law say that the Medicaid expansion effectively “commandeers” state government, thereby undermining the states’ sovereignty and autonomy. On this question, it is less clear where the Court will come down. Though the liberal justices who would uphold the individual mandate will certainly uphold the Medicaid provisions, it’s less clear where Justices Roberts, Scalia and Thomas stand on the issue. But if the Court chooses to strike down all of Obamacare, the Medicaid provisions will fall along with it and the justices will not have to decide this issue. A ruling on all issues is expected from the Court in June.

    In making his final argument in defense of Obamacare, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli alluded to the Constitution’s preamble and its call to “secure the blessings of liberty” in his justification for Congress’ actions. Paul Clement, arguing on behalf of Obamacare’s challengers, eloquently responded to Verrilli’s call to the Constitution:

    Let me just finish by saying I certainly appreciate what the solicitor general says, that when you support a policy, you think that the policy spreads the blessings of liberty. But I would respectfully suggest that it’s a very funny conception of liberty that forces somebody to purchase an insurance policy whether they want it or not. And it’s a very strange conception of federalism that says that we can simply give the states an offer that they can’t refuse, and through the spending power which is premised on the notion that Congress can do more because it’s voluntary, we can force the states to do whatever we tell them to. That is a direct threat to our federalism.

    The Constitution’s words are stirring, indeed, but have little meaning if Congress is to trample on the founding document’s very real limitations. And so America waits for the Court to decide, two years after a severely divided Congress passed Obamacare and stretched its powers beyond the Constitution. But whether the Court upholds Obamacare or strikes it down, all or in part, it does not have the final say on this issue. It ultimately falls to the American people, through their representatives in Congress, to decide the future of health care in America and whether the federal government will live within its constitutional limits. Obamacare must be fully repealed.

    http://www.morningbell.org

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    78 Responses to Morning Bell: And Now the Supreme Court Must Decide

    1. Mike says:

      obama care is wrong and the last thing we need to do is expand medicaid!

    2. Robert Raymond Meeks says:

      The government's essential underlying premise in oral argument, i.e., that everyone will at some time necessarily access health care services, is so patently and obviously false it cannot logically support a conclusion that imposing an individual mandate to buy health insurance is a necessary and proper regulation by Congress of interstate commerce.

      • Juls says:

        I think it was Justice Scalia that indicated the government had to present an argument proving that the mandate was both necessary AND proper.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        We all need clothes, shoes, and a sundry of other services, is BHO going to dictate how and when we use these things as well?? What next, telling us what we can eat and when(they are trying this alreay) The last time I looked, I didn't see a thing in the Constitution giving the goverment the right to dictate to us, "We the People" how and when w need to buy health care, What about Jehovah's Witness' that do not believe in medical doctors, will the be fined becaus of their faith, like BHO is trying to do to the Catholic church. BHO's aim is to lea us all to the Muslim religion. Since heenteredthe office by fraud and has committed treason giving aid and comfort to the Russians, we all need to be observent.

        • dodger says:

          IF, and that's a big IF, Odumbocare is finally implemented, the Jehovah's Witnesses will end up with an exemption, just as McDonald's Corp. (and many others) has.

    3. mishael says:

      Let us leave the matter to the Supreme Court do decide rather than arguing for and/or against the Obamacare as we call it. Raising arguments as we do in this article is to my opinion, interfering with the Court's freedom and procedures.

      • Joel says:

        You are right. Let us throw out the freedom of speech too

      • Stirling says:

        The court will decide for themselves (as individuals), which is the way it was designed to do. The discussion here is just additional information and debate to understand the process. Nobody should be affraid of more information, but should be affraid of less information infringing on your 1st amendment rights. Since everyone is impacted by this decision one way or annother its to everyones benefit to be informed of the truth.

      • ThomNJ says:

        Do you own a house? Please explain how the 3.8% sales tax that goes into effect in January 2013 is part of healthcare. When you have to pay that extra tax to sell your house just tell yourself it is for healthcare.

        • JKK says:

          ThomNJ, you are misinformed about how the 3.8% sales tax works.

          It is an investment income tax which could result in a very small percentage of home sellers paying additional taxes on home sales profits over a designated threshold amount. It applies to about 3% of the wealthiest Americans.

          It is a Medicare tax.

          There are a number of websites that have examples of how the tax works. I think Snopes.com is the best.

          http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/realestate.asp

      • Clarence De Barrows says:

        Well, that's surely the right course to follow. How presumptuous of we mere Citizens to voice an opinion and interfere, "with the Court's freedom and procedures." Next thing people will expect free speech to be protected by the Constitution.

    4. Jules says:

      If there ever was a law which needs to be repealed, struck down, etc. before it can do more harm, it is this one. I can think of several others which should be repealed, income tax comes to mind.
      It is patently unconstitutional as it forces the citizens to purchase something they may not want. A blatant attempt at changing the structure of the governments role in controlling the populace. As someone once said "control the healthcare, control the citizens", or something like that. I think it was Karl Marx or Lenin.
      I side with the conservative judges on the SCOTUS, throw the whole thing out. There are many parts of this fiasco which have little to nothing to do with healthcare and will further let the federal government control our everyday lives more than it already does.

    5. glynnda says:

      A well thought out writing. I was listening to Rush on this topic yesterday his point was: while all of us are applauding the Supreme Court and the likely fall of this particular piece of disastrous legislation, we are depending very likely on a swing vote to do so. He very astutely pointed out that the real disaster is how far our nation has sunk that such horrendous legislation would come down to one vote from the highest court in the land…….he's right, it's very scary…

    6. Gilbert Doan says:

      "Clearly hostile" does not exactly suggest a judiciary which has involved as the framers had reason to
      hope and to trust…….

    7. Carol says:

      This is real hard on me and, I do suppose others, to have to wait. Even since the day that our government voted to turn their back on "We the People." and then I heard we could go to jail if we do not do what they tell us we have to do. Obama may as well have driven a stake in my heart. I was in shock for days.__Now the day has come, we are on the precipice of gaining our FREEDOM back and they the Supreme Court is going to make us wait till June. I may just die of a coronary by then. This is the worst anticipation than Christmas eve waking up and finding out you did or you did not get what you had asked Santa for.

      • Lou Filliger says:

        What I'm most afraid of is it gives Reid, Obama et al 3 months to make more mischief in the meantime.

    8. Robbin Morey says:

      Regardless of what the Supreme Court's decision ends up being, we need to vote OUT every single legislator that voted for it,. Their "yes" vote shows very clearly that they either do not understand our Constitution, or they simply choose to ignore it. Either way, they are not fit to hold office, since they do not intend to stay true to the oath they took.

    9. Dudley Toelke says:

      If the entire Affordable Care Act is not declared unconstitutional and only the individual mandate is, will that set precedence that there is no need for a severability clause for any legislative bill or contractual agreement?

    10. stephen says:

      This is the best example of Judicial activism we may ever see!

    11. Wayne Peterkin says:

      We can only hope they decide wisely and keep our Constitution in one piece. This law must be struck down or the Constitution is effectively destroyed, sacrificed on the alter of interstate commerce. We know that Kagan and Ginsberg will side with increasing government powers while ignoring both individual and state's rights. The rest is less certain.

    12. Frank says:

      The fact that the Supreme Court decision will even be close (a likely 5 to 4 decision) is a statement for HOW BAD our Federal Government has become. It should be clearly a 7 to 0 decision AGAINST the over-reach of ObamaCare. Shame on the USA.

    13. munciepolitics says:

      Being forced to buy a product simply by the virtue of being alive and breathing goes well beyond the scope of our Federal government in the lives of the people. Not to mention the debt is so high, can the US afford this expensive insurance?

      There is so much wrong with this program.

    14. JimP says:

      Our founding fathers knew very well the over reaching, over regulating power of government and they started a revolution. And if I remember correctly, they stated that should it happen again, the the citizenry has the RIGHT to once again throw the bums out. I am not advocating revolution by anyone but the thought should be in the background.

      • Charles Webb says:

        You are correct, read The Declaration Of Independence: That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. etc. Next The founders listed all their reasons as to why they were instituting a new Government and declared War on England! I wonder what would happen if this were tried today? We are not allowed, by our government, to exercise this right. I would rather rely on the power of the VOTE! I am too lazy to revolt. Everyone should read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

    15. Robeert A Hirschmann says:

      Obamacare must be completely repealed. And while you're at it repeal Obama too!

    16. The question seems to be is mandatory health insurance coverage in violation of the US Constitution as is it coerced behavior. Of course it is coerced behavior as are all statutes with penalties, conform your behavior to society's norm or the state will lock you in a cage and seize your assets. Society's norm for health care in the United States of America is pay premiums for insurance for health care. You may beat the system by waiting until your health situation is an emergency, you may get it at the expense of everybody who does pay insurance premiums or taxes. Mandatory health care insurance simply closes a loophole in the system just like many other statures.

      How is it any different than mandatory auto insurance where everyone who chooses to participate in operating a motor vehicle must be insured? Anyone who chooses to continue living must have heath insurance. Perhaps assisted suicide should be added to the bill however, that is up to the Congressional and the Presidential Branch of American government not the Judicial Branch of our government. It seems to self evident that mandatory health insurance does not violate any element of the Constitution of the Unites States of America. Invalidate it by claiming it is in violation of the Constitution should therefore invalidate all statutes with penalties.

      If you do not like it your recourse is to amend the constitution. The statute protects me from everyone who chooses to game the system and dump their health care costs in my lap. It is much less intrusive then the Money Laundering Control Act or the Bank Secrecy Act which have been deemed constitutional. This is purely a political process not a judicial process. James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the Unites States of America wrote, 'constitutional interpretation must be left to the reasoned judgment if independent judges, rather than to the tumult and conflict of the political process'. If the Judicial Branch chooses to join the political process then we might as well be honest and burn the our Constitution and start over.

      • Maria says:

        It is NOT the same as requiring car insurance because I can elect to not own a car. To continue with your example, I am only required to carry liability insurance to protect somebody I may harm. And, I have many choices on how to obtain that insurance. Obamacare does NOT close any loopholes or protect you from paying for other's health costs. The poorest will still not pay for their health care. You still will AND you will have little – if any – control over the health care you have. It is undeniable that healthcare costs and coverage need to be addressed. But the idea that handing it over to the government is the solution is preposterous. Be VERY careful of abandoning your rights to the government. Once you have turned them over – you will NEVER get them back.

      • irish1919 says:

        I concur. I believe some 70% of America concurs. The only dissenters are those people who are used to the federal government doling out freebies. Also there are dissenters who believe that collectivism trumps individual liberty. To the socialist, socialism is for everyone else but them. William Penn had a great quote, which I think definitely applies not only to this infringement of a bill but the very essence of this administration. "If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants". How appropriate for the ruling class of today.

      • It is different from auto insurance, because if I drive uninsured, I might seriously injure or even kill other people.
        If I don't have private health insurance, the only one I'm injuring/killing is myself.

        / Stina http://madisonsamerica.blogspot.com/

      • Phil says:

        My take on you argument is that in each instance of violating the statutes/laws and then you are penalized for that action. In every case of violation, it is your CHOICE to violate or break a law. In the case of auto insurance, you choose to buy and operate a vehicle, no one is forcing you to buy a vehicle. In the case of the mandate for health care, you have no choice in the matter. If you are born or live in the US, the mandate starts when you take your first breath and ends when you take your last.

      • Ben C. says:

        Well thought out response but flawed. No, you are not required by law to own an automobile, but if you chose to own one you must have insurance to protect the injured party – not necessarily the defendant. Health care is NOT a right – it is a contract between the patient and the provider. If it is declared a RIGHT by Congress then clearly what Congress gives, it can take away. As our country continues to drift into socialism and tyranny we have decisions to make. If we continue the course we will be sheeple controlled by those who think they know what is best for us rather than allowing for personal responsibility. If we chose personal responsibility we will have the freedom of choice and be able to better control our individual destinies. The later ensures our great nation to survive, the former ensures its demise. I chose the the later. Yes, I agree with your last paragraph. It is the unintended consequences of Congressional legislation that creates more problems than it solves. Judicial legislation is a really bad idea and should not be part of the process. Judicial legislation has opened up the pathway to socialism and tryanny. It must end. Elections have consequences.

      • Stirling says:

        "How is it any different than mandatory auto insurance" – Simply put, people have the choice not to drive and thus dont need it if they don't drive.. Please don't insult our inteligence with this old arguement.

        The Solicitor general' (for Obamacare) fell flat due to the aguement for the law being indefencible, when it comes down to it force to buy a service that we would not otherwise purchase if we are given a choice.

        The Constitution is a "Negative Rights" on government, NOT a "positive rights" as Obamacare requires to not be struck down. 'Constitutional interpretation " fortunately does not mean judial activism, it means adhearing to the limits set forth in the constitution (which stoped government over-reaching) to keep the freedom in the hands of the people NOT the government to opress it's people.

      • clark hardesty says:

        distinguish between "coerced behavior" and being "coerced to enter a contract" which IS ILLEGAL – I can NOT be made to enter a contrac AGAINST my will.

        You say the statute "protects me from everyone who….lap." I looked but did NOT find that among the enumerated powders of Art 1, sect 8.

        see also the 47% of fed income tax filers who pay NO fed tax and dump their obligation in my lap.

      • julian Kennamer says:

        Your comments are way off the mark. However, I will answer one of your questions regarding car insurance vis a vie Obamacare. The courts have historically held that operating a motor vehicle is not a right but a priviledge-thus the states are free to regulate the operation of motor vehicles on its highways, including the requirement that licensed drivers have insurance. Just the fact that I'm alive and a citizen is not a priviledge, thus not something upon which the federal government can rely to justify controlling my economic behavior. That's why you have not heard this argument made before the Court.

    17. You know I find it amusing that the leftist new media, the unions and the government considers anyone that believes that the government should live within its means a crackpot or radical. My grandfather as well as most of our grandparents taught us thrift and to live within our means because it worked. We think we know more than them and are spending our inheritance into oblivion. Obamacare is the chief cornerstone of this ediface of stupidity we call our government.

    18. chyatt says:

      Really? No, Really? We are to believe that Congress "WROTE THIS LAW" when they did not even read it before passing it. These brilliant people can cure anything by just mandating it not to be. Say like, not driving while using a cell phone. Great concept, does not work. Or how about mandating that people buy a house, which they tried and look where we are now. Or how about mandating that no one can go hungry by requiring you to just buy food. And the ship wreck that is going to be caused by using the IRS to enforce this disaster—really? Of course we are only going to require those who can afford it to buy it? Really. This law needs to be struck down and our Congressional leaders need to get off the junket and get thier rear ends in gear writing something that will pass. I will be beyond surprised if the Supreme Court actually puts this out to pasture. Many said the law would not pass to begin with. It did, and I don't think the fish is quite dead yet.

    19. Tammy says:

      I was listening to Jason Lewis on my way home last night and a caller made a very good point regarding how we got to this point and how long we've been on the slippery slope to gov't. mandated insurance. Suddenly, it's called "healthcare" – not health insurance and certainly not "major medical". remember the time when everyone paid the bill when they went to the doctor and I'm not talking about "a copay" – you paid the entire bill and your major medical insurance coverage was just exactly that – for major expenditures. It frightens and saddens me when I think of all the many ways that our country has been slowly sliding into full blown Socialism and I really worry about whether we can ever turn it all around. God help us all.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        I remember and stated so on this site before, When you want the Insurance companies to pay for all your health care, YOU WILL pay more. When w took our kids to the doctor we paid, when Hubby had Kidney stones, Maj. med paid, Having Insurance is a right but should not be forced on you, BUT then if you don't have it, then you need to eiher borrow the money to pay the bll or make arrangements with the Drs. and hospital. As far as people being denied medical care, I am a nurse and we have a lot of MD,s in our family, and I have NEVER seen a sick person turned away bu a Doctor or an ER, athere are loads of Clinics and some are free. It is your duty to provide for yourself, not the gov't ,wih money from those of us who work,

      • ThomNJ says:

        I am with you – I was lamenting that very fact on another site just before I came over to read this.

    20. irish1919 says:

      No mandate, no bill. Why? No severability clause. No mandate because government does not have any authority under the enumerated powers of constitution to force me into participating in any commerce which I do not choose to enter. It should be a 9-0 vote and quite frankly I am appaled that the high court waited till over 2 years into Obamacare to rule on this. This far outweighs anything they had on their docket and shows me that in many ways they will support the congress on any bill they pass. The 4 liberals on the court have always voted in favor of big federal government and always will. Their ideology is more precious to them than doing what they were appointed for. To uphold the constitution of these United States. They absolutely subvert the constitution and have done it in hundreds of instances. i am disgusted that my rates have gone up 22% in the last 2+ years because the Supreme court did not kill this bill after it was signed into law. I also am disgusted that I am not allowed to enter into a free market healthcare system which would allow me access to a policy meeting my needs and by FREE CHOICE!! The constitution is about protecting individual liberties not the governments over reach. I am disgusted.

      • ThomNJ says:

        You are EXACTLY correct. I also have been telling folks that all the fluff, all the "technicalities", etc, etc surrounding this law that make it "tough to rule on" is all complete horse hockey. This bill should never have been brought in the first place, and it should have died immediately thereafter in any event – and I agree, this is a no-brainer. All the talk – even from the justices – about who has insurance or who doesn't is completely irrelevant. There is no reason to take the next few months to decide on a ruling – 30 seconds ought to be enough. It is flat-out un-Constitutional.

    21. Ken Jarvis says:

      If Obamacare is repealed.
      Where will YOU hold the Celebration?
      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    22. KC-NM says:

      A key issue with this debate is that our top-level of justice, that is sworn to uphold the Constitution, is siding with political direction. It should be very obvious to any intelligent American that the liberal justices are siding with the democrats and the conservative justices are siding with the republicans. What needs to be looked at is the implication to the Constitution and our freedom.

    23. Lloyd Scallan says:

      The fact is four liberial justices have already made up their minds even before the auguments began that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. It is nothing more than an excercise in wasted time and money. When Kagan states "it's just a boatload of federa money" should prove if the word "unconstitutiional" came directly from the "Burning Bush" (not George Bush), it makes absolutely no difference. These four are ideologues that are of the same shade of Marxism, communism and socialsim as Obama's.

    24. Fred Yates says:

      "It ultimately falls to the American people, through their representatives in Congress, to decide the future of health care in America and whether the federal government will live within its constitutional limits."

      Very nice sounding words at the end of the article, but empty and hollow words. We "the people" by an almost 68% majority rejected ObamaCare, Where were our representatives then and now? Every "town hall" they convened was against it from the beginning.

      Next I point out that if ObamaCare is sooo wonderful why have 729 organizations applied for and received waivers? But that matters not, for we "the people" would pay for the "coverage" if they had not received the waivers through higher prices.

      Last I proclaim, There is no justice in the legal system. Rather it is those in power that decide it matters not Democrat or Republican. We truly need a change back to the original intent our Founding Fathers implemented. No they weren't perfect, but on par they were far greater than any group since. They lived through injustice and tyranny and did something about it.

    25. Before the oral argument, I was only sure about Justice Thomas & Justice Alito.
      After the oral argument, I seriously think this is a 50/50 at this point.

    26. irish1919 says:

      Obama does not represent America. Americans do.

    27. John Engleman says:

      Justice Kagan should recuse herself or be recused for her government employment as Obama's US Solicitor General who actively participated with her Obama Administration colleagues in formulating a defense for the law. Law 28 U.S.C.455 mandates that a justice shall disqualify him(her)self in any proceeding in which his(her) impartiality might be reasonably questioned, or where he(she) has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceedings.

    28. robert says:

      do not be surprised if 1 or 2 or more of the court judges end up having some health issues or death like from heart attacks or some crap like that you know induced by CIA or who ever they use to erase people that they do not want around any longer kinda like Seal Team Six or Brett Bearheart. this is how they rule so just sit back and watch the game cause its going o happen one way or another they the oblama admins will get what they want at any cost even by Marshall law tic tok tic tok tic tok tic tok!!!!!

    29. Bobbie says:

      Oh my Lord Mr. Wensink, what a spread of your unfortunate mindset! It's not just like a stature. An automobile is driven by choice but lethal by accident hence mandates insurance. Civil law encourages civil behavior and one controls ones everyday lifestyle with accountability by ones choices which results in ones personal health. Why wouldn't one be responsible to insure themselves or not according to their personal lifestyle of choice without government force?

    30. Ron W. Smith says:

      Just this morning I heard Rush Limbaugh say, in relation to "Obamacare," that those on the Left have for 50 years known what they want to do with American health care. He's correct. "They've had 50 years to defend this." True, also.
      The Right, Limbaugh didn't say, has also had their opportunities to reform American health care all that while–to lower costs that have risen annually at a far greater rate than inflation, to assure portability of coverage when jobs are changed or lost, to eliminate insurers' bureaucratically decided exclusions because of prior existing conditions, to insure the tens of millions uninsured. The Right chose not to change anything, instead preferring the highest cost for health care insurance coverage in the industrialized world–now at $7000 per person, twice the international average–without measurable results warranting the excessive cost.
      The Right has produced a few "plans" of late (be sure to look into them!) that were, in essence, the Right's counter to "Obamacare." I suppose folks on that side suddenly realized that inaction for 50 years–except to criticize anything the Left did to remedy a dysfunctional health care system rapidly growing in $ size in relation to GDP–was in danger of making them look like do-nothings unless obstructionism be counted as "doing something." That realization, that a-ha moment, was inspired mainly by projections of fiscal disaster for the country, not to mention for just plain folks having trouble paying for, say, Celebrex, if the health care system isn't reformed. The Right had torpedoed Single Payer, the only SURE way to accomplish all four areas of reform so necessary, had nixed Public Option as a poorer cousin version, and were already kicking the corpse of "Obamacare," the conspicuously flawed remains of Democratic intent for health care reform. The Right had to show something besides obstructionism.
      Well, with the moment of truth almost upon us, the Supreme Court's inevitable decision, don't forget another moment of truth that will follow–what MUST be done with the health care system in the United States, the world's costliest, to prevent a daily dose of evidence of disaster for the American economy and for everyday folks as health care costs swallow an ever-larger portion of GDP and individuals find even minimal insurance coverage in the free market, where it has been all along, unaffordable.
      I almost find myself with James Carville (oh, Hell!) on this one. The Republicans deserve the problems they'll have (and won't shake) come 2013 and the years following. They won't have 50 years to mess around instead of solve. They'll very soon have an ultimatum.

      • James Jonas says:

        Is it true that Medicare spending is the leading cause of healthcare costs rising? If the government keeps paying for healthcare, doesn't that affect the market in a negative way. The government has artificially injected revenue into a market that most people have to fund from their own insurance premiums. Check and see when healthcare costs started to rise significantly and I'll bet there is a connection to funding from the government.

      • Stirling says:

        Ron, the problem really started from the first Entitlement that the progressives put into the system.. Each succesive Entitlement adds and is compounded expoentially over time with the population and years gone by.. It's really a ponzi scheme set to colaspe the system into itself. Obamacare is just the straw that breaks the camels back financially if the court rules it to be constitutional.

    31. David W says:

      It was interesting to hear the argument that since everyone will use haelthcare thaey should be forced to buy insurance. Everyone will use enrgy at some point, so should they be forced to buy a solar panel for their home to lower oil imports?

    32. h. crosby says:

      I have been following the arguments presented these last three days. It seems to me that the pro-mandate side thinks that because the government has created SS,Medicare, (creating commerce) that they can justify further manipulation of a once free market. The result of this incrimental government “participation” is now being used as justification to treat our citizens as government subjects. There will be no place to appeal if the government rules that your profile does not allow for certain tests or treatment.

    33. bsg says:

      The word mandate is too kind, it should be called what it is, extortion.

    34. clark hardesty says:

      I do NOT agree w/ the underlying premise of the article – "liberal" judges clearly support the law. I listened to the 2nd and 3rd days audio and felt that both sotomayor and bryer we less than enthused by the individual mandate and were well aware of the problems posed by NO severability clause. My interpretation is NOT that they WOULD joing the "conservative" judges but that they WERE reception to Clements' arguments.

    35. The whole "bill," just shows how Congress and the Executive is running a muck in this country.
      Where's Reagan?
      He was a president who respected the SCT.
      Obama has shown nothing but disrespect for the judicial branch.
      I hope his 2010 state of the union address comes back to bite him with a vengeance.
      http://madisonsamerica.blogspot.com/

    36. gary says:

      "Cut the head off the snake, and the body dies."

    37. O2BMe says:

      We really did/do need some things fixed in the healthcare industry, but not 2,700+ worth of rules and regulations that no one, not even the supreme court read. Some of the votes were purchased with special favors and exceptions. Medicaid is already broken and most doctors won't take these people on as patients. Forcing more people into a program that already need fixing is insane. Then to top things off Congress and the President opted themselves and their families out of Obaacare, which should tell everyone what a great the Affordable Care Act is.

    38. Ken says:

      "Obamacare" must be totally repealed, placed in a bucket, and given to Obama to put on his mantel.

    39. tucanofulano says:

      "Imperative" says the Tyrant. And that is the crux of it all. Who runs matters, We The People, or, our employees the self-serving bureaucrats and their servants the politicians? The most humble AMERICAN knows far more about what the Constitution is all about and the plain meaning of its language than does any of the so-called elitists like Obama. Obamacare ought to be 100% ruled unConstitutional and the entire mess sent back to Congress for a "re-do" if the voters don't fire them first.

    40. Joseph McKennan says:

      I feel cautiously optimistic for the first time in 3.5 years. The executive branch and the legislative branch had me believing that I was being forced to turn communist. I was preparing for the worst– like Patrick Henry.
      I will not live as a communist and give full support to lazy pagans. I hope Obama, Pelosi, and Reid see this because if they win this one they can eliminate me first. I will go willingly.

    41. dbinpv says:

      To me this argument isn't about health care so much as about the government forcing its will on individual citizens. If the Supreme Court sides with obamacare then the government can at will, virtually force anything imaginable and UNIMAGINABLE down our throats. That is what should scare the living hell out of every single person capable of rationale thinking. The left just wants this country to be one big huge commune singing cum-bay-ah. Just like the occupy wall street crowd. I mean GANG.

    42. Julian Kennamer says:

      Obamacare is just the most recent albeit most audacious push by the leftist statist to concentrate as much power in one central government as possible. It began in earnest with Roosevelt's New Deal appointees who overturned 150 years of precedent in the1942 Wickard v. Filburn case. There, they did incredible contortions to find that a farmer who grew his own wheat to feed to his own livestock was engaged in interstate commerce-thus subject to federal control-because his failure to purchase wheat in the public marketplace affected interstate commerce. This mugging of the Commerce Clause threw the gates open for all that has come since and destroyed the balance of power between the states and the federal government (to whom the states had ceded LIMITED powers in the US Constitution). If you want to restore the Constitution to some semblance of its original form you should pray that a more conservative Court will someday OVERTURN the abortion that is Wickard v. Filburn.

    43. Brian says:

      Interesting how my conservative friends don't realize that this type of insurance and the mandate was originally proposed by? Yes, you guessed it….THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION. Please know your history. Visit the direct link to the Heritage article from 1989: http://healthcarereform.procon.org/sourcefiles/19

    44. Mark Simmons says:

      In the euphoria of the hearings over the last 3 days let's not get confused.

      Obamacare is NOT going to be decided based on whether or not it is Constitutional or legal, if it was there would be a 9-0 vote to strike it down, but that isn't going to happen.

      This isn't about justice either. If it was Elana Kagan would be recused. Having her as one of the justices is the equivalent of you being a defendant, Elana the prosecutor, and once she presents her case she stands up and takes the chair as judge and jury.

      This is a political decision based upon an ideology that opposes our Constitution and way of life. That is why at least 4 liberal justices were so critical of the challenges to Obamacare and so consistently raised points that were so childish and stupid–lacking any semblance of logic, or bearing on the law.

    45. David says:

      If Congress were able to regulate things that people will eventually have to do, then there would be virtually no limits to its power. Written by Todd Gaziano . This a poor arguement since the government does this everyday. Exmaple Car Insurance. Yesterday I had no car today I have one and gov. says I need insurance.
      Doing exactly what he says should not be done with Obama care.

    46. David says:

      What part of Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution you people don't understand.

      The Congress shall have the power: To lay and collect taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay
      debts, and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of of the United States: etc

    47. Frank Z says:

      Medicare is there to cover the uninsured; it's used for illegal's and many others who don't pay a dime for it. Allowing children to stay on until 26 is ridiculous; it's only costing employers more, allowing the insurance companies to increase rates and making us all pay for the non productive part of our society. I'd ask, just when is a kid an adult? Do we ever expect them to work? The creative govt has pushed policies to make the U.S a service oriented society; a big mistake. We should look at what we've done to our country's ability to produce and restore some what made us the leader of the world. I see both political parties as the contributors to wrecking our economic picture without suitable options going forward.

    48. jim says:

      Our goverment is already out of control, inefficient and beyond their own comprehension. If we are the country we are supposed to be then Obamacare will be struck down with the rath of God on the side of the citizens. Jim colorado

    49. William says:

      Personally, I think our insurance companies have become a bureaucracy unto themselves with no governance and no accountability. Something needs to be done to reform, and while I don't care for this particular bill (specifically the individual mandate without some sort of public option to compete with private insurance and hold them accountable), I definitely see RomneyCare as a step in the right direction.

    50. Jose Luis Lira says:

      The Affordable Patient Care Act .. if approved, will mark the beginning of the end of "freedom" .. in the land of the free. Therefore, the "brave" must step forward in order to put a stop to the said mandate .. which, in itself .. if passed; soon enough, will pave the way to more, if not total, control of all of our lives, by our present goverment … with a president who appears to be determined to transform/turn our democracy into a dictatorship. What's to be expected? .. expect to be told what foods not to eat .. how not to dress, and ???

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